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FanDuel MLB: Saturday Picks

Joel Bartilotta

Joel has 12-plus years of Fantasy experience, and can recall riding a young Daunte Culpepper to a championship in the 2003-04 season. He covers EPL Soccer, MLB, NBA and Daily Fantasy sports for RotoWire. He's active with EPL, NFL, MLB and NBA fantasy games.

For this Saturday slate, we have some fantastic pitchers to use and some horrible pitchers to stack against. Sonny Gray against Tampa Bay and Zack Greinke against Houston look like can't-miss options and will be great pairs with some of the cheap bats I'll recommend. There are also some great stacking options like Texas against Randy Wolf, Cincy against Randall Delgado and Kansas City against Matt Barnes. Honestly, I was shocked to see Randy Wolf's name as a listed starter, and in all honesty, it's amazing he's still pitching at age 39, but he's definitely my favorite pitcher to stack against for Saturday. While I won't recommend many Rangers for pricing purposes, I will give you some cheap options so you can get other elite bats into your lineups. These are the cheapest prices across the board that I have recommended to date, and just using one or two can open the door for a dynamic lineup.

Pitcher

Chris Tillman $6,600

If you would have told me that Chris Tillman would be in one of my articles at the beginning of the season, I would've called you crazy. Tillman got off to a dreadful star, but he has really found his form over the last couple months. Since June 21, Tillman has had only one outing with two runs allowed or more. While the strikeouts haven't been great, he has been going deep into games, lasting at least seven innings in five of those starts. Tillman is also at home against a righty-heavy Twins lineup. The Twins have struggled against right-handers all season, and the Orioles should be a substantial favorite in this matchup. I like Tillman to record a quality start with a good chance at a win, which makes him a fantastic bargain.

Aaron Harang $5,400

If you would have told me Aaron Harang and Chris Tillman would be in the same article at the beginning of the season, I'd be surprised to still have a job. That is the nature of the matchups Saturday, though, and both are valuable at their low prices. Harang travels to pitcher-friendly Marlins Park where he could do well against Miami offense that has been one of the worst in baseball this season against right-handers. The Marlins likely will struggle against a crafty veteran like Harang. I'm not expecting a gem from the Harangatang, but a quality start is like a strong possibility. At just $5,400, there are hitters who cost just as much as Harang and the upside of a pitcher is simply unmatched, especially against Miami. This is more of a play on the matchup and price rather than the pitcher, but go ahead and try a lineup with Harang and see how strong of a hitting lineup you can put together; you'll be satisfied.

Catcher

Russell Martin $2,500

I was really surprised to see how cheap Martin was today, especially with the platoon advantage. After a little research, I realized the reason he is so cheap is because of his recent struggles. Since the beginning of August, Martin is batting a putrid .111 with no extra-base hits, and his OPS has dropped about 70 points. Even with the struggles, Martin has been great against southpaws this season, recording a .420 OBP and a .974 OPS. Those are elite numbers at any position and especially impressive at a position as shallow as catcher. The price is hard to pass up as well, as there are many catchers who cost nearly $1,000 more than Martin. The Blue Jays seem to always blow up left-handers, and this should be no different as they square off against southpaw Andrew Heaney. The young lefty got off to a wonderful start, but as hitters are figuring him out, his numbers seem to be regressing. We'll bet on more regression here and bank on Martin being a key cog.


First Base

Mike Napoli $2,500

I have been very successful this season picking Mike Napoli (shockingly), and we'll go right back to the well here in another good matchup. The only time to use Napoli is against left-handers, but he gets to face one of the worst in the league in Randy Wolf on Saturday. Calling him one of the worst pitchers in the league may be unfair, but he hasn't had a consistent job the majors since 2012. In that year, he had an ERA well above five and a WHIP well above 1.50. It would be hard to imagine him coming back here and hurling a quality start against one of the hottest teams in baseball after pitching at Triple-A all season, but let's get back to Napoli. Since the beginning of 2013, Napoli owns an OPS over .900 against southpaws and an OBP in the .400 range. He should be right back in the heart of the lineup Saturday in a good spot to drive in runs. There are six first basemen who cost at least $2,000 more than Napoli, and using him can save you some serious dough.

Second base

Kolten Wong $2,400

I have written about Wong a couple times earlier this season, and this price is getting too friendly not to recommend him again. The reason for the price drop is due to his recent struggles and being dropped in the order. I still like what Wong brings to the table, and using him at a near minimum price is simply too much of a bargain. As I've written, Wong has that power-speed combo I love. He has the ability to go deep as well as swipe some bags. Wong faces Ian Kennedy in a matchup he can exploit. Kennedy's biggest bugaboo has been the long ball, as he has allowed 26 homers this season and at least one in 12 consecutive games. We'll bank on Wong or Jhonny Peralta (see below) being the one to take him deep Saturday.

Third base

Mike Moustakas $2,300

I really wanted to get at least one Royal against Boston's Matt Barnes, so we'll go with the affordable Moose. The young righty Barnes is the lowest-valued pitcher on the board. That alone makes Moustakas intriguing, but his price bakes the cake. In the last nine games, Moustakas has found some of the form he had earlier in the season, recording three multi-hit games with two home runs in that span. One factor that is often overlooked in fantasy is the ballpark for hitters. I think Fenway's short right-field porch is perfect for Moustakas' swing, and he won't even have to barrel up to sneak around the Pesky Pole. With the top two third basemen costing $3,000 more, Moustakas is a nice cheap option with some promising upside.

Shortstop

Jhonny Peralta $2,400

It's hard not to recommend a guy like Peralta at a price like this. As I said, I like someone to go deep for the Cardinals, and Peralta is as good a bet as anyone. The power he provides at shortstop is simply elite, and there's no reason why he should still be less than $3,000. Some of the shortstops priced higher then Peralta absolutely baffle me, and he'll be in my lineup every day until his price is raised. The OPS has fallen off a bit for Jhonny in the second half, but the numbers are still formidable. Not only has Peralta had three doubles in the last week, he is third among shortstops with 16 homers this season, sporting a solid .286 average. There's not much to disparage this play, and he's a great bet to exceed his price.

Outfielders

David Peralta $3,500

This is by far the most expensive player I am recommending for Saturday. Peralta has been killing righties all season, and he faces an average one in Anthony Desclafani in this matchup. Peralta is hitting .350 with 1.040 OPS since July 1. His numbers against righties this season are spectacular as well, hitting .306 with a .914 OPS. In addition, the price is affordable, as Peralta was in the $4,000 range for seemingly weeks. There are eight outfielders who cost at least $1,000 more than Peralta, and he has the upside of any one of those. In fact, he ranks outside the top 20 in price for outfielders on this particular slate, which is criminal with the production he's been providing.

David Murphy $2,400

Murphy is a platoon players I always look for with a right-hander on the mound. The Angels face Marco Estrada, who has been solid but still has trouble giving up home runs. Last season, Estrada led the league in home runs allowed, and I think he could allow a couple here against Mike Trout, Albert Pujols or possibly David Murphy. The recent acquisition of Murphy put him right in the heart of the Angels' order against righties, and he's been quite successful. Murphy is batting .280 with a .720 OPS in August. These aren't spectacular numbers, but they are formidable and resemble a $3,000 player, not a $2,400 player.

Mark Trumbo $2,300

Trumbo has been a huge disappointment this season, and his price shows just how far he's fallen. The scary thing about Trumbo is the elite power stroke he had has essentially disappeared. I still believe it is somewhere in there -- he hit a three-run homer Friday, his second long ball in as many games. And he's still a quality hitter against left-handers. I was actually surprised to see that Trumbo is batting .249 with 16 dingers this season, but apparently they've been a quiet 16 homers. The Mariners face sporadic rookie left-hander Carlos Rodon, who is prone to blow-ups. In 17 starts this season, he's allowed at least four runs six times. He also walks batters like crazy, allowing 54 free passes in less than 100 innings. Trumbo has the ability to go deep or maybe even draw a few walks in this matchup. Trumbo has eight homers in 125 at-bats against southpaws this season and a solid .311 OBP. I like the upside Trumbo provides at a near minimum price. It's players like him who can win you big money on FanDuel with multi-homer games.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Joel Bartilotta plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Joelbartilotta.